26 Oct 2012 17:11

Interfax, W3C, Higher School of Economics hold roundtable on open public data

Interfax held a roundtable with the Higher School of Economics National Research University and the World Wild Web Consortium on October 25 2012 on "Accessibility of information about government bodies for Russian business."
Opening up government data will boost the IT industry to 2% of GDP from its current 1%, Open Government Affairs Minister Mikhail Abyzov said at the meeting.
"Open government data is provides the foundation for organizing a huge volume of business," he said. "We are talking about different applications and services, created on the basis of these data. But the government cannot develop the mobile applications itself - that is a task for business on the basis of open government data that is necessary for services to the end consumer - citizens and business."
In accordance with the Russian presidential decree No. 601 ‘On key areas for improving government administration systems,‘ there should be access to open data, contained in government administration information systems in machine readable format by July 15 2013. The Economic Development Ministry, which has been tasked with developing a strategy for open government data, implies by machine readable format information from government bodies, their territorial branches, state institutions and so on. This information should be put on the Internet in a format that enables automatic processing so it can be re-used without manual prior processing.
Alexei Khersontsev, the director of the Economic Development Ministry‘s state regulation in the economy department, said a list of open data has been compiled. The list includes information from ministries that have agreed to take part in a pilot project in this area. The bodies piloting the scheme are the Telecoms Ministry, the Science Ministry, the Federal Tax Service and the Economic Development Ministry.
"These government bodies will enable convenient and required services for citizens and business to be set up, such as information systems that on the basis of information on state procurement will allow businesses to take marketing decisions, analyse demand and supply," Interfax Executive Director Vladimir Gerasimov said. "A marketing information market of around $40 million - $50 million a year has been created over the past few years already on the basis of data about state procurement in Russia."
The participants of the roundtable said detailed work would need to be carried out to improve legislation for the program.
To really provide access to information from government bodies in a machine readable format certain aspects of legislation need to be clarified with the outlining of a separate concept of open data and a determination of its status, the introduction of format requirements and procedures for presenting such data, said Oksana Kovalenko, the director of the Interfax legislation service.
"Clear procedures for presenting the information will not only be convenient, they will also reduce the burden on the departments when compiling their own documents and procedures," she said.